Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Turbo-Dog

Dear Turbo, I never, ever thought I would leave you. I thought you would leave me. I am having a really hard time emotionally with this. You are my dearest possession. Everything else I own is only stuff. Every hurricane I said goodbye to it. But not you, you came with me. But now, you can't come. I have to let you go because I have this opportunity and I need to take it. My love for you has not changed. How can I say goodbye to you? How can I leave you?

You have been mine for nearly 14 years now. In June you turn 15 (or 16 since when I adopted you the vet said 1 or 2 years old and I picked 1.)

For the first month you didn't even have a name. I knew you were 65 pounds of lightning fast, yellow fur and I searched for a name. I once left you with the Captain and MB for the weekend, only to come home and find out they had named you Pedro...and all the neighbors were calling you Pedro! No dog of mine would be named Pedro. (although in Shirish/SV Date's book SPEEDWEEK, Turbo's alias "Pedro" stars as the hero's dog in the story!)

And yes, the first week I owned you, you dashed out the front door between my friend's legs and directly to A-1-A to be struck by a car. Bleeding from the ears and nose, madly we dashed to the Animal Clinic at Midnight to find a sleepy Vet in a Hawaaian shirt and flip flops who gave you a 10 second diagnosis, looked up at me and said "That'll be $250, pay at the door". I didn't sleep all night and called early to find you perfectly fine. As I sat in the waiting room to pick you up, an American Indian waiting for an answer about his mangled bird asked me about you. I explained what had happened and that you didn't even have a name yet. He looked up at me and said "Should call him Lucky."

But after attending the Summer Olympics in Atlanta and being served a beer from Abita Beer Company named Turbo Dog, I had your name. It just fit.

I forgive you for all the shoes you ruined in your teen age years. And all the Alpha-dog fights we had...until I won. And the fact that every friend, and the lawn guys have been out chasing you when you snuck out of the yard to explore.

The time you and your friend Boomer wandered off tied together and ended up in the Daytona Shores jail is still funny. Thank you for all the happy prances when I got home from work. And for these golden years as you have slowed down and become one big love dog.

It was because of you that I bought my house with the big back yard at the right time in the real estate market. I had rented all those years but the Landlord said no more dog. Thank you, it's the one investment that I still have.

You have converted "non-dog" people to love you. Everyone loves you. I'm not sure if your favorite dog sitters Rick and Diane are more upset to see you or me go. I vote you.

You will be loved by Mary Beth. She begged to have you. I will get to see you on Skype video often as she calls the boat everyday. I'm afraid she will try to make you a bionic dog so I have lectured her on the fact that you are 82 (according to I know you will be loved.

But I need to tell you something really hard. If it is your time to go, I give you permission. You have been such a good boy, it's okay, don't hold on for me to return. But if you do, it will be a fine reunion.

All in all, you have been the best dog, companion, investment, and entertainment that I could have ever asked or dreamed of. Thank you.

I should be called Lucky.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Boob Drama

With plans to go overseas for over a year, I thought it would be wise to get all the yearly medical things out of the way. My mammogram was uneventful until I got THE CALL. "We need you to come back and re-check something abnormal, bla, bla, don't worry, bla, bla the earliest is 5 days."

Five days? Five days of utter, put your life on hold and "try not to think bad things, opps, too late, I'm dieing, no I'm not that's stupid, oh God, I feel something it's the left one they said, yes, I do feel it. Crap."

Five days. I'm surprised the left one didn't just fall off from all the worry. On d-day, I report early to radiology only to find out it was not the left but the right one.

So for 3 hours. 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours I sat in radiology waiting the results of the 2nd, and "oh, can we see you again", the 3rd smashing of the ta-ta. I watched at least 25 women come and go. It was down to 2 of us and I couldn't make eye contact with her. I just couldn't. I didn't want to risk seeing fear.

The light in the registration room had been shut off and at 2.5 hours I started pacing. By then I had my speech written in my head. "Dear Friends, I'm dieing. Stop it. Think positive. Why do I do this to myself?"

And as casually as the first phone call, the peppy 20-something assistant pops in the room and says, "Okay you can go."

"Wait, wait, wait...I can go? I'm okay? They've been read and it's okay?"

"You are Edee right?"

"Yes, yes, that's my name and that's my chart?" I dropped to the chair, arms dangling to my sides and head back tearing up. I looked up at her.

"I mean, It's been 3 hours. I appreciate your thoroughness and I realize not everyone gets good news" I choked out.

The facts are that. Not everyone gets good news so having a retake in retrospect is not a big deal compared to those women who have had to handle the real battle against breast cancer.

Still, the rates of retakes or, false positives are overall 10% in the US, according to the American Cancer Society. And according to new guidelines released the United State Preventive Services task Force, an influential group that provides guidance to doctors, insurance companies and policy makers, recommendations are now that women have mammograms starting at 50. That stirred a controversy that outraged many and relieved some.

Is it the Doctors or the Insurance Companies? Who is driving this bus and how are women reacting? Depends who you ask. My friend under 50 who fought it all the way through Chemo would disagree, yet my friend not yet 40 is sick and tired of being called back in. When asking around I heard that more and more: being frustrated with repeat tests and all the anxiety it causes. A discussion with my Doctor would say that doctors are frozen in the process because the minuet chance that they could be wrong is not good enough for the general public, that NOT accepting that things go wrong in life every once in a while drives the re-testing mania. When did we all become so sue-happy?

Yet my friend would argue that every test reaps the Doctors more revenue, and they love revenue. And big houses.

But so it goes. Drama over for me...until next time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Do Blond's have more fun?

Preparing to sail for a year, one of the most popular questions I have been asked (besides Pirates...Note; we are NOT cruising the coast of Somalia) is WHAT was I going to do about my hair?

So...oh yes I did. I changed the color of my hair.The truth is, I have threatened to do this for about 15 years at a "certain age." As a life-long blond, I am now a deep auburn. I wanted to go Black because of a fabulous black wig I use for Halloween and my father's hair was black, but my wonderful hair wizardress, Glenna at Salon 230, and I decided to do this color.

So the question now is: do blonde's have more fun? So far the answer is: they get more attention and they are expected to be a little flirty and not serious. So, if that is how people react to them, then I can see why the saying goes: "Blond's have more fun."

Why do I say this? Because it is happening to me! I normally make jokes/comments to strangers and get a particular reaction. They laugh back, whatever. But me and my luxurious dark locks are getting looks like "What's wrong with you?". It's fricking hilarious. I printed out a copy of myself as a blond and tested a few unlikely suspects at bikeweek. Showing my blond "friend," would they like to meet her?...Yes!
Good grief.
But knowing I will live in salt air for the next year +, who knows what color it will be! For now, I am enjoying having fun regardless of my hair color!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pacing the Floor

Someone is interviewing for my job right now. And the employee I hired 11 years ago as my assistant is doing the interview! Since I will be closing down my business, I have campaigned the Company to keep the office open and hire her as their employee. This will change the office dynamics from Boss and Employee to Team Mates.

I took the morning off since the interviews are in my office and I found myself pacing, ACTUALLY PACING inside my house. Why? I’m the one that made this decision, now all the cards are in play.

26 years ago I was 23 years old and was offered this straight commission job to be self employed. I set up a Florida corporation. I didn’t tell my parents as to not worry them or my professors out of embarrassment that I took a job in advertising, not journalism. I was so poor, I was adding water to my radiator every mile because I couldn’t afford to fix my car. My first commission for the month was $600! Enough to live “college style” for months, I thought. And thru the years $600 became a 6 digit year and unknowingly I was a prisoner to money. Working 18 hour days seemed worth it. The rest of my 20’s and 30’s flew by with many, many occasions that friends would call and my reply was “no, I have to work late.”

The territory grew from $200,000 to nearly 3 million before the economic dive. I have been lucky. I grew up in this Company with, for the most part, caring people. So now I am feeling protective yet with no control. The vultures have been circling my desk for several weeks after hearing I was leaving---some actually calling me direct to see how they could get my job!

Growing this business was my baby and now I’ve got knots in my stomach over who will take care of it. My heart is heavy and thinking of the Greek Islands isn’t helping right now. Yet something inside me continues to say, “This is the right thing for you to do, it’s your path. Let it go.”

Friday, February 5, 2010

The "To Do" list

It's amazing how complicated we humans are. When you're on the Hamster Wheel going round and round, it's hard to look around at what you have created in your life. But when you need to shut it down to move overseas and live on a boat the "To Do" list is enormous. From, selling your car, renting your house, storing your stuff, closing down a business, getting taxes done for the past and future years, getting a new Drivers License to making sure all credit cards expire AFTER you return..the list goes on and on.

But then there are the unexpected twists of life.

Dental Surgery; $3100. Suddenly needing to replace part of the heat and air in my home $2150. Having my cloths dryer break: $136. Having tenants walk out leaving a mess to clean up; $1500. Knowing that I'll be in the Greek Islands in June; Priceless.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dentists and Taxes

There are only 2 things I greatly procrastinate: Dentists and Taxes. I knew 6 months ago that I had a tooth bothering me and now that I have decided to move overseas, I know I need to deal with it. I’m not sure if I am more afraid of the pain or the cost; I think it’s a tie.

Of course it can’t be simple. So today I had dental surgery and bone grafting. My trip has been pushed back until the end of March to deal with all this.

Email to Captain;
Hey Shish, ...Did you realize that the bone grafting I had done was using Bovine. Cow. Moo. So, besides cutting beef from my diet I realized that based on your India-heritage, I have determined that I will be 100% sacred to you on the boat and 50% sacred to the boys. I will bring this up if things ever get tense. Edee

Monday, February 1, 2010

Actions and Reactions

Once I decided to change my life, the first person I called was my sister. I blurted it out in all one sentence that was longer than I had breath for.

Then slowly, I told a few friends my plans of leaving. After that my manager and assistant. The meeting with the Company Director could not have gone better. He is a fair, hard working and a long term employee that "got it" when he heard my story.

Then an email to friends and extended family and then my clients:

There is a season…a time to plant and a time to uproot… After 26 years in business in Daytona Beach, I have decided that it is my time to uproot.
The entire country is not without some suffering and changes with the economic climate and I understand I am not alone. But it has been hard on me as an Independent Contractor/self employed ad rep to continue. I tell you this only because my future sounds amazing, but I have struggled with this decision.

End of March, I have decided to join a some friends on their 2 year sailing adventure to see parts of the World, study and learn. The boat is an Alden 44 cutter Sailboat and I will be permanent crew as others join on and off during the time. I plan to return summer of 2011. I plan to pursue a writing career while I’m gone and have the fortunate bonus of my friend Shirish (the Captain) being a published author of 6 books (Published name; SV Date). I will have a personal blog and welcome you to follow my adventure!

Now, the burden of living a lie is behind me and the reactions from people are mostly positive, sometimes surprising, and always full of questions.

I've only had 3 initial bad reactions. One yelled. One sobbed. One said "No you don't want to do that. Get a job with the Local paper." ...I would sooner dive from my 7th floor office except they refuse to put in a balcony for only me.

Everyone else has been so kind; one client said it best.
"I'd leave Daytona Beach and the Company to sail the World... which part of that were you struggling with?